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Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE COLLECTIVE.

2021 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

UPDATED: Nov. 19, 2020 (PRE-SEASON)

Sean Bobbitt missed out on an Oscar nomination for “12 Years a Slave” and his work on “Judas and the Black Messiah” could be his ticket for a makeup. Erik Messerschmidt (“Mank”) and Joshua James Richards (“Nomadland”) are sitting comfortably at the moment, as the two leading contenders for nominations. Hoyte van Hoytema could make a second trip to the Oscar ceremony with “Tenet,” as his first nomination also came from teaming with Christopher Nolan with “Dunkirk.” Martin Ruhe’s work on George Clooney’s “The Midnight Sky” is his highest-profile film yet, and there’s a very good chance, critics and awards bodies will notice.

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories


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David Strathairn in “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

  1. "Mank" (Netflix)
    Erik Messerschmidt (director of photography)

  2. "Nomadland" (Searchlight Pictures)
    Joshua James Richards (director of photography)

  3. "The Midnight Sky" (Netflix)
    Martin Ruhe (director of photography)

  4. "Judas and the Black Messiah" (Warner Bros.)†
    Sean Bobbitt (director of photography)

  5. "Da 5 Bloods" (Netflix)
    Newton Thomas Sigel (director of photography)

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Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” (Warner Bros.) Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

NEXT IN LINE CONTENDERS:

  1. "One Night in Miami" (Amazon Studios)
    Tami Reiker (director of photography)

  2. "Tenet" (Warner Bros.)
    Hoyte van Hoytema (director of photography)

  3. "Minari" (A24)
    Lachlan Milne (director of photography)

  4. "News of the World" (Universal Pictures)
    Dariusz Wolski (director of photography)

  5. "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (Netflix)
    Phedon Papamichael (director of photography)

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Meryl Streep and James Corden in Ryan Murphy’s “The Prom” Courtesy of Netflix

TOP-TIER AWARDS CONTENDERS:

  1. "Mulan" (Walt Disney Pictures)
    Mandy Walker (director of photography)

  2. "The Father" (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Ben Smithard (director of photography)

  3. "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)
    Tobias A. Schliessler (director of photography)

  4. "Emma." (Focus Features)
    Christopher Blauvelt (director of photography)

  5. "Ammonite" (Neon)
    Stéphane Fontaine (director of photography)

  6. "The Prom" (Netflix)
    Matthew Libatique (director of photography)

  7. "Malcolm & Marie" (Netflix)
    Marcell Rév (director of photography)

  8. "I'm Thinking of Ending Things" (Netflix)
    Łukasz Żal (director of photography)

  9. "First Cow" (A24)
    Christopher Blauvelt (director of photography)

  10. "Nine Days" (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Wyatt Garfield (director of photography)

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Shia LaBeouf and Vanessa Kirby in “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix)

ALSO IN CONTENTION:

  1. "Pieces of a Woman" (Netflix)
    Benjamin Loeb (director of photography)

  2. "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" (Paramount Pictures)
    Andrew Dunn (director of photography)

  3. "Wonder Woman 1984" (HBO Max/Warner Bros)
    Matthew Jensen (director of photography)

  4. "The Invisible Man" (Universal Pictures)
    Stefan Duscio (director of photography)

  5. "The Personal History of David Copperfield" (Searchlight Pictures)
    Zak Nicholson (director of photography)

  6. "Supernova" (Bleecker Street)
    Dick Pope (director of photography)

  7. "Promising Young Woman" (Focus Features)
    Benjamin Kračun (director of photography)

  8. "Cherry" (Apple TV Plus)
    Newton Thomas Sigel (director of photography)

  9. "The Forty-Year-Old Version" (Netflix)
    Eric Branco (director of photography)

  10. "The Glorias" (Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment)
    Rodrigo Prieto (director of photography)

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French Exit Courtesy of Tobias Datumas/Sony Pictures Classics

UNRANKED AWARDS CONTENDERS:

  • "An American Pickle" (HBO Max) – John Guleserian (director of photography)
  • "Antlers" (Searchlight Pictures) – Florian Hoffmeister (director of photography)
  • "The Assistant" (Bleecker Street) – Michael Latham (director of photography)
  • "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" (Amazon Studios) – Luke Geissbühler (director of photography)
  • "French Exit" (Sony Pictures Classics) – Tobias Datum (director of photography)
  • "Greyhound" (Apple TV Plus) – Shelly Johnson (director of photography)
  • "Herself" (Amazon Studios) – Tom Comerford (director of photography)
  • "Hillbilly Elegy" (Netflix) – Maryse Alberti (director of photography)
  • "I'm Your Woman" (Amazon Studios) – Bryce Fortner (director of photography)
  • "The King of Staten Island" (Universal Pictures) – Robert Elswit (director of photography)
  • "The Life Ahead" (Netflix) – Angus Hudson (director of photography)
  • "Let Them All Talk" (HBO Max) – Steven Soderbergh (director of photography)†
  • "The Mauritanian" (STX Entertainment) – Alwin H. Küchler (director of photography)
  • "The Old Guard" (Netflix) – Barry Ackroyd, Tami Reiker (director of photography)
  • "On the Rocks" (A24/Apple TV Plus) – Phillippe Le Sourd (director of photography)
  • "The Outpost" (Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment) – Lorenzo Senatore (director of photography)
  • "Palm Springs" (Hulu/Neon) – Quyen Tran (director of photography)
  • "Radioactive" (Amazon Studios) – Anthony Dod Mantle (director of photography)
  • "Shirley" (Neon) – Sturla Brandth Grevien (director of photography)
  • "Sound of Metal" (Amazon Studios) – Daniël Bouqet (director of photography)
  • "Wendy" (Searchlight Pictures) – Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (director of photography)
  • "The White Tiger" (Netflix) – Paolo Carnera (director of photography)

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The DPs of the industry is one of the most exciting for young film enthusiasts to learn from and about. Charles Lang and Leon Shamroy have 18 nominations each but it’s the former that has 4 trophies, a record he shares with Joseph Ruttenberg. The late and great George J. Folsey left the Earth without a win in-hand over 13 nominations.

Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)